St. Dennistoun Mortuary Coin-Operated Automaton

Oh my goodness…this incredible automaton is up for auction.

When a coin is inserted: doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief.

Absolutely incredible…

From the item description:
Lot 207
“St. Dennistoun Mortuary” Coin-Operated Automaton, attributed to Leonard Lee, c. 1900, the mahogany cabinet and glazed viewing area displays a Greek Revival mortuary building with double doors and grieving mourners out front, when a coin is inserted, doors open and the room is lighted revealing four morticians and four poor souls on embalming tables, the morticians move as if busily at work on their grisly task and mourners standing outside bob their heads as if sobbing in grief, ht. 30 1/2, wd. 24, dp. 17 1/4 in.

Estimate $4,000-6,000

[EDIT] The fine folks at Skinner Inc. were kind enough to post this video in the comments. Check it out in action!

Source

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16 Responses to “St. Dennistoun Mortuary Coin-Operated Automaton”

  1. Wonderful.
    The attention to detail in all it’s macabre glory is delightful. Thanks for sharing.
    I’ve linked this post to the PCL Link Dump site @ http://easydreamer.blogspot.com/ and shared my admiration for your keen eye.
    Cheers.

    • shewalkssoftly Says:

      Thanks! PCL Link Dump is such a fun site! I’ll be visiting. I hope you come back here often as well!

  2. I think you should bid on this, just bid what you can, even if it’s under $500, even if only $10. You never know, fate may just want you to have it, I know I want you to have it. Your bid could be the only offer! Do it, do it, do it!

  3. Goodness! Perfect piece! A must have!

  4. so very brilliant- having been a mortician myself I deeply appreciate this excellent piece. Thank you for your genius-CARL http://www.ciabnormalarts.com would love to do a show for you and your most amazing artwork-C

  5. Lindsay Larkin Says:

    Oh, I NEED this! As the heiress to my family’s mortuary, it is only fitting.

    • shewalkssoftly Says:

      You’re an heiress to a mortuary, Mrs. Wilson? How can you keep getting cooler just when I think you’re already super cool? ;-)

  6. You can view a video of the automaton in action on the Skinner Blog: http://www.skinnerinc.com/blog/2012/05/watch-a-video-of-a-macabre-automaton-st-dennistoun-mortuary.php. The auction this Saturday June 2, 2012 in Marlborough, Massachusetts is open to the public.

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